A late hat trick from Stargroth Amean saved the PNG Hunters from suffering another shock home loss against the Central Capras who pushed the competition leaders in Port Morseby.
The match started off in fine fashion for the Hunters when fan favourite Willie Minoga crossed for the game’s first game in just the 6th minute on his return to the centres where he made such a big impact earlier in the season.
Central Capras replied halfway through the first half, and the conversion made it 6-6, which was the half time score. And the home side must have been worried when the Capras crossed first in the second half to lead 10-6, memories of the previous home loss against last placed Tweed Heads fresh in their minds.
In amongst the errors from both sides, something in the Hunters clicked and in the 62nd minute Israel Eliab scored to snatch back the lead. That lead was extended quickly as Stargroth Amean scored a quick fire hat trick with three tries in 9 minutes from the 70th. The PNG fullback has really stepped up since being named Man of the Match for the Kumuls win over the Cook Islands.
The win sees the PNG Hunters taking full advantage of the Sunshine Coasts loss the previous night and extending their competition lead by two points for now. Central look to be confined to the bottom half of the ladder.
PNG HUNTERS 30
Tries: Willie Minoga (6m), Israel Eliab (62m), Stargroth Amean (70m), Stargroth Amean (75m), Stargroth Amean (79m)
Goals: Ase Boas 5/5 Conv
CENTRAL CAPRAS 10
Tries: Ken Tofilau (22m), Vic Halfpenny (56m)
Goals: Krys Freeman 1/2 Conv
PNG HUNTERS v CENTRAL CAPRAS
The PNG Hunters are in somewhat of a dip in form. Sure they are leading the competition, but they have recently had a big struggle to get past Souths Logan at home and the Northern Pride in Cairns. In between that there was the loss to Tweed Heads in Port Moresby, a scarcely believable result.
As least they are winning, Central haven’t been too far away this season, but their run of 4 straight losses since their draw in Townsville shows the fine line between form and results.
Fan favourite Willie Minoga returns to the centres, a position he filled in the opening round so well when he scored the match winning try. Central weren’t far away that day, so could a second consecutive upset be possible in Port Moresby this weekend.
Previous 2017 Result – Central 16 PNG Hunters 22
1. Bland Abavu 2. Stargroth Amean 3. Israel Eliab 4. Willie Minoga 5. Wawa Paul 6. Ase Boas (c) 7. Watson Boas 8. Muka Peter Kalu 9. Wartovo Puara 10. Esau Siune 11. Nixon Putt 12. Rahdly Brawa 13. Brandy Peter 14. Silas Gahuna 15. Wellington Albert 16. Karo Kauna Jr. 17. Stanton Albert 18. William Mone 19. Enock Maki 20. David Loko
Coach: Michael Marum
1. Tony Tumusa 2. Ken Tofilau 3. Justin Tavae 4. Nathan Bassani 5. Chanel Seigafo 6. Reece Baker 7. Jack Madden 8. Oliver Percy 9. Krys Freeman 10. Phill Nati 11. Liam Pickersgill 15. Vic Halfpenny 13. Gavin Hiscox (c) 12. Guy Williams (c) 14. Maipele Morseau 17. Junior Kirisome 18. Billy Gilbert 19. Nathan Young
Coach: Kim Williams
|National Football Stadium|
|Lloyd Robertson Oval, Port Morseby|